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Corner Brook woman questions garbage collection

This is the amount of garbage — with covering blanket removed — placed on the curb this week by Nicole Marsden, who operates a home-based business in Corner Brook.
This is the amount of garbage — with covering blanket removed — placed on the curb this week by Nicole Marsden, who operates a home-based business in Corner Brook.

Nicole Marsden has no trouble taking out her trash.

It is what happens after it gets to the curb that has her scratching her head.

The resident of Carmen Avenue says she has been buying tags for the extra garbage bags she has had to occasionally put out, but the trash is not being picked up and the response she has been getting from the City of Corner Brook and its garbage collection contactor has only added to her frustration.

Marsden’s home doubles as her workplace. She operates a home-based pet grooming business.

There are times when the amount of trash she has far exceeds the four-bag limit households are permitted to place at the curb. Twice in recent weeks, she has had to put out 15 bags.

The garbage was not collected.

She contacted the City of Corner Brook each time and said she was told there was no reason why her garbage shouldn’t be collected as long as she had a purchased sticker on each additional bag.

This week, she had to put out 20 bags. Again, the garbage collector refused to take it.

“This is the third time I’ve had to call about this,” she said. “No one can tell me what the limit is beyond four bags.”

On one occasion, she had a visit from the municipal police after someone complained about garbage she had tagged and expected to be collected ended up getting torn apart by animals, something she was unaware of at the time.

Ethan Murphy of Murphy Brothers, the contactor responsible for waste collection in Corner Brook, said the number of bags is not really the problem with Marsden’s garbage.

He said it is the kind of waste she is putting on the curb.

Because she runs a business out of her home, Marsden’s garbage is considered commercial waste. In particular, much of the garbage she puts out is cat litter, which Murphy said is heavy and prone to breaking open and causing a big mess.

“Commercial waste is not supposed to be picked up in the way she is putting it out,” said Murphy. “She has to either get it to the landfill herself or find some sort of other means of collection.”

Marsden said it was recommended to her that she get a dumpster to hold the additional garbage she regularly accumulates until it can be collected as commercial waste.

Marsden said she still can’t get a straight answer as to how many extra bags any household, not just hers, is allowed to put on the curb.

The City of Corner Brook’s website doesn’t state there is any such limit. It only says that additional bags can be put out as long as an extra garbage label — which costs $1 — is attached to each additional bag.

Murphy said there isn’t really a limit, but the stickers are only meant for occasions when a household ends up with two or three extra bags of trash in a given week, not for excessive amounts of trash on a regular basis.

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